Review: St. Remy Authentic VSOP French Brandy / by Jason Hambrey

French Oak, >4 years
Blend of 10 grapes (see below)
Distiller St. Remy (Nantes, France)

St. Remy is quite available, good, and cheap - it is a French Brandy, so, although it isn't from the region of Cognac or Armagnac, it is still in the same category - but cheaper because it doesn't have the prestigious regional designation. It's also easy to drink and fairly approachable - when I was first getting into brandy I did a side by side of this and Courvoisier VSOP cognac side by side and came out liking this one more, so if you're interested in exploring other spirits I recommend it. The XO is also worth a try too - it is even better and very similarly priced.

St. Remy sources wines from all over France to distill into their products, and they use a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gamay, Ugni Blanc, Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon's. They distill twice in a column still (though they use copper pots sometimes too), and mature in small french oak barrels. And they've been doing it for a while - since 1886.

I often make Christmas Cake (i.e. traditional fruitcake), and it is doused with this stuff usually - it does the trick nicely, and I usually have a brandy alexander every other week when I am re-dousing the cake. Also highly recommended...

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2016

Fresh, fruity, and lightly spicy. Very vibrant. White grape, nutmeg, clove, cardamom – and sweet smelling, too. The palate is very bright and fruity, with some underlying tannin from the oak. Slight spices and nuts emerge on the finish. Very clean – really it’s quite nice, though not overly complex.

Value: This is decent stuff, and not expensive, so it fits in the average-high range.